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Home-sewed clothes as high fashion.
This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives
Producer: Hartley Productions
Sponsor: Simplicity Pattern Co., Inc.
Audio/Visual: Sd, C
Keywords: Sewing; Fashion
Creative Commons license: Public Domain
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Subject: Different Times
No wonder almost all men were straight back in those days. Girls were soooo cool and non-confrontational back then. So, what's to avoid?
Interesting is that there weren't any happy pippy flutes and clarinets going on in the background - more usual for films of this era and subject matter. But on the other hand one must agree that smooth string instruments DO offer an air of confidence "simplicity" and ease.
Subject: I liked it
Aw c'mon guys, why do we have to take everything apart? I like sewing. I found the instructions insightfull and helpful in sewing darts,tacks, or making. I liked the hemming skirt gadget!
I could care less HOW Jonny got there.
To all feminists outhere, let me just say that it wouldn't hurt if sewing, knitting, cooking, dancing courses were re-introduced in schools today. Not to mention mandatory ettiquete with updated attitude to today's times.
There. I've said it. "Hang" me now :-))
Subject: oh geez
The way that big pattern board shuffles in is so awkward.
Subject: Patterns for Smartness dated
I don't think the modern women has the time to make their own clothing anymore. The models were pretty, and the outfits cute, regardless that the fashions were from sixty years ago(but that's just my opinion.Unless you like making dresses, a big segment of this film didn't interest me.
left wing films -
Subject: go trendy
this is a must in the Internet Archives
Subject: Home Sewing for the "Know-How" Girl
ÂPattern for SmartnessÂ begins with teenage BettyÂs boyfriend Johnny walking into her house without asking. ÂHowÂd you get in here, anyway?Â asks Betty. ÂJust opened the door!Â answers Johnny. This exchange establishes BettyÂs lack of autonomy and sure enough, we soon see her showing him a dress pattern and asking, ÂWhich of these colors would you like for my new dress?Â This filmÂs attitude toward home sewing is different from the 1940 Singer Sewing ads in the Archive, whose titles tell a different story. The tough-minded women in ÂShe Caught on QuickÂ and ÂThree Smart GirlsÂ wouldnÂt have let a guy get away with walking in on them without knocking (the Âmiracle manÂ from Singer Sewing either rang the doorbell or came to the front gate). The Singer ads stressed the money-saving aspects of home sewing and didnÂt tout home sewing as being particularly creative or high fashion (except humorously). In fact, the ads made clear that the reason the women sewed was because the men (a husband in one, a father in the other) didnÂt have the money to give the women what they wanted. This film touts home sewing as creative, high fashion and as a way to be oneÂs Âexciting and attractive self.Â The film takes some strange turns. When Betty says, ÂI just let my pattern tell me what to do!Â a huge Simplicity pattern envelope comes on screen and the models on it come to life and carry on a strange dialog in rhyme with an unseen male narrator (JohnnyÂs not the only one who barged in). Now the film gets down to business. We take a tour of the Simplicity sewing headquarters and see how home sewing patterns are made. Then we watch step-by-step as Betty makes her dress. The dressmaking process is actually explained clearly and well. Betty makes herself a relatively complicated dress on what today looks like a primitive sewing machineÂas many women and girls did then. This film, like many Home Economics films, sends a mixed message. On one hand it pushes homemaking, but on the other, as in the scenes at the Simplicity Company, we see women workers outside of the home functioning competently and professionally. When BettyÂs dress is done, Johnny suggests the girls in Home Ec give a fashion show to benefit the boysÂ basketball teamÂnaturally. We see BettyÂs fashion show and the film ends with two girls embracing each other (instead of boys), a ÂfittingÂ ending to this ambivalent film.
Subject: Female Pattern Blahness
This film, all about what you can do with simplicity patterns, is fine, but what really stands this one out is the beginning and the end. Betty and Johnny are 2 BAD acting kids wondering what color she should make her new dress. Betty you see, is a home ec student where she learned 'how to wear our clothes so they look really smart on us' among other things. When she decides to choose red for her dress, from nowhere appear models, ready to help Betty with her project. Did I tell you that this is all taking place in Betty's home? Anyways, the simple task of making a dress is shown. Bobby is so impressed by this result that he suggests, "Say, why not you and some other girls put on a fashion show to get money for new equipment for the basketball team??' (??) Since this is 1948, Betty thinks this is a swell idea. Soon, she's made 112 bucks for the team (none for her!) and everyone applauds! Hurray for female progress! Highly reccomended!
Steve Nordby -
Subject: Fashion sense
The internal dialog of Johnny's girl, in her fashionable clothing, makeup, jewlery... as she disrespects the plain girl walking by on the sidewalk in the first 2 minutes of this film is worth the download and pegs my rating at five stars! The superficial attitude and missing sense of self worth is like nothing I've seen, but is clearly an attempt by the company whose advertisment this is to turn girls into self-doubting, image oriented, subhuman consumers of fashion products.
Turns into a fairly ordinary advertising for fabric patterns after that. The color is pretty good (despite some bouncing auto color balance circuits in the transfer from film).